Mkango’s primary business is exploration for rare earth elements and associated minerals in the Republic of Malawi, a country whose hospitable people have earned it a reputation as “the warm heart of Africa”. The Company holds interests in four exclusive prospecting licenses in Malawi: the Phalombe licence, the Thambani licence, the Chimimbe Hill licence and the Mchinji licence.
The main exploration target in the 51% held Phalombe licence is the Songwe Hill rare earths deposit. This features carbonatite-hosted rare earth mineralisation and was subject to previous exploration in the late 1980s. Mkango completed an updated Pre-Feasibility Study for the project in November 2015 and a Feasibility Study is currently underway, the initial phases of which included a 10,900 metre drilling programme and an updated mineral resource estimate, announced in February 2019. In March 2019, the Company announced receipt of a £7 million (C$12.3 million) investment from Talaxis to fund completion of the Feasibility Study. Following completion of the Feasibility Study, Talaxis has an option to acquire a further 26% interest in Songwe by arranging financing for project development including funding the equity component thereof.
The main exploration targets in Mkango’s remaining three 100% held licences are, in the Thambani licence, uranium, niobium, tantalum and zircon, in the Chimimbe Hill licence, nickel and cobalt, and in the Mchinji licence, rutile, nickel, cobalt, base metals and graphite. Mkango has recently announced that it carrying out an extensive exploration program for rutile on the project after its discovery of the mineral on its Mchinji licence.
Mkango also holds a 75.5% interest in Maginito with the balance owned by Talaxis. Maginito is focused on downstream opportunities relating to the rare earths supply chain, in particular, recycling and other innovative technologies for the production of neodymium alloy powders and magnets used in electric vehicles, wind turbines and other industries geared to decarbonisation of the economy.
Alexander Lemon, President and Co-Founder
Mr Lemon is a graduate of the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London (MSc Dic in Mineral Exploration) and Oxford Brookes University (BSc Geological Sciences). He has 24 years’ experience in mineral exploration and business development. Mr Lemon is a founding Director and President of Mkango and Mkango’s major Shareholder, Leominex. From 1994 to 2001 he was the Managing Director of a gold mining company that owned and operated a producing gold mine in Central Asia, where he gained extensive operating experience in emerging markets including government negotiations and project management. From 2001 to 2005, he worked for a family office, Allied Commercial Exporters as an investment adviser. Since 2005 has been involved in the exploration and evaluation of a variety of projects throughout Africa, Central Asia and Europe. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society, Fellow of the Geographical Society and a Member of the Southern African Institute of Mining & Metallurgy.
William Dawes, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Mr Dawes is a graduate of Bristol University (BSc Geology) and Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London (MSc Mineral Exploration with distinction). Having trained as a geologist in South Africa, he worked as a mining analyst based in London and then for Rio Tinto’s exploration division. Subsequently, he gained significant global mining transaction experience in the metals and mining team of Robert Fleming & Co, Chase Manhattan Bank and JPMorgan. Mr Dawes is a founding Director of Mkango and Mkango’s Major Shareholder, Leominex, and since 2004 has been involved in the exploration and evaluation of a variety of projects throughout Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He has 15 years’ experience in exploration and business development and 9 years in mining finance, mergers and acquisitions. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society, a Professional Member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.